The Butterfly Effect is the idea that a solitary flap of a butterfly’s wings will eventually result in a hurricane halfway across the globe. In the interests of moving forward as a society, and because I don’t think I’ve seen a butterfly in, like, four years, I believe it is time to retire this term and go with something a bit different: the porno effect. It’s fairly self-explanatory, I think, but in case you’re still not following, here’s where I got the idea: merely by posting the word “porno” on the official Jeremy Renner app, I single-handedly obliterated, uh... the official Jeremy Renner app.
The first thing you will find when you install the official Jeremy Renner app is a video which I would describe as essentially the Renner-fied version of the infamous Garth Brooks “first Facebook post.” Jeremy attempts to explain exactly what his app does, and in so doing delivers an excellent impression of someone who has never heard of either Jeremy Renner or apps. Also, maybe this was just on my device, but the video seemed to cut out before he held up today’s newspaper as proof of life. A potential bugfix in version 1.9441.2? I’m sure there’s already a Jira ticket being written up.
The second thing you will find upon installing the app—if you have not already installed the official Jeremy Renner app, please feel free to take this parenthetical as an opportunity to do so—is that every push notification you receive through the app looks as though it is coming directly from Mr. Renner himself; you will also soon notice that you receive a push notification every time somebody replies to you. What this means, as you’ve probably figured out by now, is that if you post “Lookin’ good, Mr. Renner!” under a blurry video of Jeremy driving a dump truck and someone named football_jersey97 replies with “There is diarrhea shooting out of my penis,” your phone will buzz and you will receive a notification with the words “Jeremy Renner: There is diarrhea shooting out of my penis” next to a little picture of Jeremy Renner’s face.
Now, I do not develop personalized vanity apps for celebrities. However, if I did develop personalized vanity apps for celebrities, I think one of the things I would try to avoid, just right off the bat before we got to much of the complicated stuff, would be any situation wherein it is extremely easy to make it look like the celebrity in question was personally messaging you about the stream of diarrhea shooting out of their penis.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s how it all began:
On August 20, 2019, I downloaded the official Jeremy Renner app. After giving Mr. Renner and the fine folks at EscapeX my personal information and access to my phone’s camera and microphone, I saw a post in which Jeremy Renner wished me a “rockin weekend” and asked me if I had any plans. As it happens, I did have plans! I was going to watch some porno on my personal computer. I let Jeremy know this, because that’s what I assumed the app was meant for.
I put my phone down, satisfied that I had successfully claimed the mantle of “First Guy to Post the Word ‘Porno’ on the Official Jeremy Renner App.” A few minutes later, though, I saw this:
I’m not going to lie to you: for about 12 seconds, I truly believed that actor Jeremy Renner thought porno was nasty. Then I discovered that this message had actually been sent by my friend Jesse Farrar, and that, as previously mentioned, every official Jeremy Renner app push notification was cleverly disguised to trick unassuming Marvel fans into thinking Hawkeye had actually said “wassup” to them.
I posted the screengrabs on Twitter, everyone had a good laugh, and I went through with my weekend plans—a camping trip, not the porno thing. A job well done, I thought, and that seemed to be that.
It was not. When I arrived back in civilization on Sunday afternoon, the calm, welcoming landscape of the official Jeremy Renner app that I had grown to love over the past week appeared to have been irreversibly shattered. Dozens of false Renners had sprouted up, sowing chaos and pretending to like porno. Legitimate Renner fans were rightfully confused and terrified. Someone was on there pretending to be Casey Anthony. Much like the movie that had made Jeremy Renner a star, the “locker” (app) had become “hurt” (lots of people were posting about porno on it). I have not seen the movie in question.
I soon found myself unable to post on my old account, although I was still able to listen to Jeremy Renner’s music, which is something that generally only happens if you’re intimately familiar with the phrase “Because you listened to: 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.” I was forced to register a new account to voice my displeasure. It was banned just as quickly.
I was one more Renner-banning away from changing my Twitter profile picture to an ancient Greek statue and becoming very concerned about The Decline Of The West when I decided that enough was enough. It was time to step back. There was nothing else I could do. We were stuck at an impasse: Jeremy Renner would never respect porno, and I would never be allowed to post on his official app in a misguided attempt to convince him to respect porno.
These two reviews offer a succinct summary of what exactly happened to the official Jeremy Renner app over the past couple weeks:
For some context, and so future generations understand what happened here, this was the official Jeremy Renner app in July 2019. This is how I think we should all choose to remember it: several sincere replies to a black and white photo of Jeremy Renner that looks like the cover of an Animorphs book about a Rat Pack impersonator turning into an actual rat.
Mr. Renner, I’m sorry that your official app has been overrun with hundreds of people pretending to be either you, your twin brother, failed clones of you, successful clones of you, or also various former major league baseball players, for reasons that are still unclear to me. As a form of penance, I have left you a five star review.
I’ll see you guys on the official Chris D’Elia app.
Update (Sept. 4, 5:58 p.m. ET): Oh no.